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When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

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We view the cross in the light of the resurrection. But we cannot experience resurrection power without the suffering/bearing of the cross.

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Luke 24:1–12 ESV
1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

REREAD OUT LOUD AS A CONGREGATION
Luke 24:6–7 ESV
6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
Luke 24.
We cannot stand at the empty tomb this morning without viewing the cross. The angel’s first word of instruction was to remember the cross. Likewise, we cannot fix our eyes on the shadow cross, without the light of the resurrection.

BACKGROUND: When I Survey The Wondrous Cross by Isaac Watts

While preparing for a communion service in 1707, Isaac Watts wrote this deeply moving and very personal expression of gratitude for the amazing love that the death of Christ on the cross revealed. It first appeared in print that same year in Watts’ outstanding collection, Hymns and Spiritual Songs. The hymn was originally titled “Crucifixion to the World by the Cross of Christ.” Noted theologian Matthew Arnold called this the greatest hymn in the English language.

While preparing for a communion service in 1707, Isaac Watts wrote this deeply moving and very personal expression of gratitude for the amazing love that the death of Christ on the cross revealed. It first appeared in print that same year in Watts’ outstanding collection, Hymns and Spiritual Songs. The hymn was originally titled “Crucifixion to the World by the Cross of Christ.” Noted theologian Matthew Arnold called this the greatest hymn in the English language. In Watts’ day, texts such as this, which were based only on personal feelings, were termed “hymns of human composure” and were very controversial, since almost all congregational singing at this time consisted of ponderous repetitions of the Psalms. The unique thoughts presented by Watts in these lines certainly must have pointed the 18th century Christians to a view of the dying Savior in a vivid and memorable way that led them to a deeper worship experience, even as it does for us today.

Young Watts showed unusual talent at an early age, learning Latin when he was 5, Greek at 9, French at 11 and Hebrew at 12. As he grew up, he became increasingly disturbed by the uninspiring psalm singing in the English churches. He commented, “The singing of God’s praise is the part of worship most closely related to heaven; but its performance among us is the worst on earth.” Throughout his life, Isaac Watts wrote over 600 hymns and is known today as the “father of English hymnody.” His hymns were strong and triumphant statements of the Christian faith, yet none ever equaled the colorful imagery and genuine devotion of this emotionally stirring and magnificent hymn text.

Throughout his life, Isaac Watts wrote over 600 hymns and is known today as the “father of English hymnody.” His hymns were strong and triumphant statements of the Christian faith, yet none ever equaled the colorful imagery and genuine devotion of this emotionally stirring and magnificent hymn text.

While preparing for a communion service in 1707, Isaac Watts wrote this deeply moving and very personal expression of gratitude for the amazing love that the death of Christ on the cross revealed.

As we make our way from the Last Supper to the Cross, we must acknowledge the suffering that takes place before the nails are hammered and the cross hoisted high.
First of all, let us not forget that Jesus Christ was sinless.
WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS (vv1-2)
When I survey the wond'rous Cross
On which the Prince of Glory dy'd,
On which the Prince of Glory dy'd,
My richest Gain I count but Loss,
And pour Contempt on all my Pride
- Behold the Lamb - who is sacrificed
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the Death of Christ my God:
All the vain Things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his Blood.

1. BEHOLD THE LAMB - sacrificed

First of all, let us not forget that Jesus Christ was sinless.
BEHOLD THE LAMB sacrificed
Isaiah 53:7 ESV
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
He was like a lamb.
John 1:29 ESV
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
He was the Lamb!
1 Peter 1:18–20 ESV
18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you
He was the spotless Lamb!
When we consider what the weight of our sin caused this innocent man to suffer so…our thoughts, our deeds, our lies - big and little, our petty thefts, our adultery, our fornication, our preferring ourselves over others…our not obeying God’s laws, not submitting to His authority, from Adam 1…to you and me - it was OUR SINS THAT THIS LAMB WAS SUFFERING FOR.
SUFFERING BEFORE THE CROSS:
TIMELINE:
he prayed to the point of exhaustion in Gethsemane
he prayed to the point of exhaustion in Gethsemane he endures the heartbreak of Peter’s denial while he is manhandled on the way to Annas he hears the very people he came to save reject him publicly and cry out for a murderous madman to roam the streets free he is flogged to within inches of his life his crucifixion is demanded - not by the governing officials - but those in the highways and hedges and positions of religious authority he is mocked and brutalized again by Roman soldiers he is demeaned into carrying his cross out of the city to the place of the skull it wreaks of death, it looks like death, it is certain death to all are lifted up His suffering is so evident that he is offered, and refuses wine with gall
he endures the heartbreak of Peter’s denial while he is manhandled on the way to Annas
he hears the very people he came to save reject him publicly and cry out for a murderous madman to roam the streets free
he is flogged to within inches of his life
his crucifixion is demanded - not by the governing officials - but those in the highways and hedges and positions of religious authority
he is mocked and brutalized again by Roman soldiers
he is demeaned into carrying his cross out of the city to the place of the skull - it wreaks of death, it looks like death, it is certain death to all are lifted up
His suffering is so evident that he is offered, and refuses wine with gall
THE LAMB IS ABOUT TO BE SLAIN…IT WAS PREORDAINED BUT THAT DOESN’T MITIGATE THE SUFFERING OF THIS FULLY GOD, FULLY MAN JESUS CHRIST.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross (v3)
See from his Head, his Hands, his Feet,
Sorrow and Love flow mingled down!
Did e'er such Love and Sorrow meet?
Or Thorns compose so rich a Crown?

2. BEHOLD THE MAN - suffering

NOW WE MOVE FROM THE CRUCIFIXION TO THE TOMB OF JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA
NOW WE MOVE FROM THE CRUCIFIXION TO THE TOMB OF JOSEPH OF ARAMETHEA
He is crucified - as spikes are driven through his hands and feet, this man...
(who spoke and the winds and seas obeyed)
(who loved the marginalized)
(who physically and emotionally touched those that culture marked as “unclean”)
(who was love incarnate)
(who at his confession of his eternal name, when He said "I am He”, knocked down the guards in the garden with the power of word alone)
this man Jesus while is he being nailed to a tree that he created with spikes containing metals he formed in the earth, was mocked as he was being prepared for the cruelest act of torture, he is mocked while he is being tortured and until his torture is relieved by death
1 criminal mocks him as soon as they’re erect
A criminal mocks him A criminal acknowledges his innocence and divinity and asks Jesus to remember him women watch from afar He is forsaken by his Father… the earth goes dark for 3 of the 6 hours that he is on the cross Jesus cries out…and dies He cried out “It is finished”. At 12, he said, “I must be about my Father’s business.” At the height of his ministry he says in - “I must do the work of Him who sent me while it is still day.” In his high priestly prayer in , he tells the Father, “I have finished the work you gave me to do.” He cries out, “into your hands I commit my spirit.” And announces to the work I came to do in this mortal body is done. I am finished. It is finished. there is an earthquake the veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom some of the dead in tombs are raised JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS We know that while Romans kept any conquered people firmly under heel, they were usually relatively respectful of the religious traditions of those they dominated. That’s why the governor likely agreed when the Jewish rulers wanted to make sure the bodies weren’t on the crosses through the Sabbath. They were shocked when they came to Jesus to see that he was already dead. That spear had been used to crack the shins of the other criminals to hasten their last breath…they pierced our Lord’s side to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was in fact dead. No denying it.
1 criminal acknowledges his innocence and divinity and asks Jesus to remember him
women watch from afar as it becomes obvious by His cry that He has been forsaken by his Father…(THIS IS THE WORST SUFFERING TO HIM)
Charles Spurgeon writes:
The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, Vol. IV The Death of Christ (No. 173)

Will he not sing sweeter songs than ever came from martyr’s lips? Ah! no; it is an awful wail of woe that can never be imitated. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The martyrs said not that: God was with them. Confessors of old cried not so, when they came to die. They shouted in their fires, and praised God on their racks. Why this? Why doth the Saviour suffer so? why, beloved, it was because the Father bruised him. That sunshine of God’s countenance that has cheered many a dying saint, was withdrawn from Christ; the consciousness of acceptance with God, which has made many a holy man espouse the cross with joy, was not afforded to our Redeemer, and therefore he suffered in thick darkness of mental agony.

NOW WE MOVE FROM THE CRUCIFIXION TO THE TOMB OF JOSEPH OF ARAMETHEA
NOW WE MOVE FROM THE CRUCIFIXION TO THE TOMB OF JOSEPH OF ARAMETHEA
He is crucified - spikes in his hands and feet, mocked as he preparing for torture, while he is being tortured and until his torture is relieved by death A criminal mocks him A criminal acknowledges his innocence and divinity and asks Jesus to remember him women watch from afar He is forsaken by his Father… the earth goes dark for 3 of the 6 hours that he is on the cross Jesus cries out…and dies He cried out “It is finished”. At 12, he said, “I must be about my Father’s business.” At the height of his ministry he says in John 9 - “I must do the work of Him who sent me while it is still day.” In his high priestly prayer in John 17, he tells the Father, “I have finished the work you gave me to do.” He cries out, “into your hands I commit my spirit.” And announces to the work I came to do in this mortal body is done. I am finished. It is finished. there is an earthquake the veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom some of the dead in tombs are raised JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS We know that while Romans kept any conquered people firmly under heel, they were usually relatively respectful of the religious traditions of those they dominated. That’s why the governor likely agreed when the Jewish rulers wanted to make sure the bodies weren’t on the crosses through the Sabbath. They were shocked when they came to Jesus to see that he was already dead. That spear had been used to crack the shins of the other criminals to hasten their last breath…they pierced our Lord’s side to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was in fact dead. No denying it.
He is crucified - spikes in his hands and feet, mocked as he preparing for torture, while he is being tortured and until his torture is relieved by death A criminal mocks him A criminal acknowledges his innocence and divinity and asks Jesus to remember him women watch from afar He is forsaken by his Father… the earth goes dark for 3 of the 6 hours that he is on the cross Jesus cries out…and dies He cried out “It is finished”. At 12, he said, “I must be about my Father’s business.” At the height of his ministry he says in John 9 - “I must do the work of Him who sent me while it is still day.” In his high priestly prayer in John 17, he tells the Father, “I have finished the work you gave me to do.” He cries out, “into your hands I commit my spirit.” And announces to the work I came to do in this mortal body is done. I am finished. It is finished. there is an earthquake the veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom some of the dead in tombs are raised JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS We know that while Romans kept any conquered people firmly under heel, they were usually relatively respectful of the religious traditions of those they dominated. That’s why the governor likely agreed when the Jewish rulers wanted to make sure the bodies weren’t on the crosses through the Sabbath. They were shocked when they came to Jesus to see that he was already dead. That spear had been used to crack the shins of the other criminals to hasten their last breath…they pierced our Lord’s side to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was in fact dead. No denying it.
the earth goes dark for 3 of the 6 hours that he is on the cross
Jesus cries out…and dies
He cried out “It is finished”.
At 12, he said, “I must be about my Father’s business.”
At the height of his ministry he says in - “I must do the work of Him who sent me while it is still day.”
In his high priestly prayer in , he tells the Father, “I have finished the work you gave me to do.”
He cries out, “into your hands I commit my spirit.” And announces to the work I came to do in this mortal body is done. I am finished. It is finished.
there is an earthquake
the veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom
some of the dead in tombs are raised
JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS We know that while Romans kept any conquered people firmly under heel, they were usually relatively respectful of the religious traditions of those they dominated. That’s why the governor likely agreed when the Jewish rulers wanted to make sure the bodies weren’t on the crosses through the Sabbath. They were shocked when they came to Jesus to see that he was already dead. That spear had been used to crack the shins of the other criminals to hasten their last breath…they pierced our Lord’s side to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was in fact dead. No denying it.
For days his disciples hide
For days his mother cries
The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, Vol. IV The Death of Christ (No. 173)

Will he not sing sweeter songs than ever came from martyr’s lips? Ah! no; it is an awful wail of woe that can never be imitated. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The martyrs said not that: God was with them. Confessors of old cried not so, when they came to die. They shouted in their fires, and praised God on their racks. Why this? Why doth the Saviour suffer so? why, beloved, it was because the Father bruised him. That sunshine of God’s countenance that has cheered many a dying saint, was withdrawn from Christ; the consciousness of acceptance with God, which has made many a holy man espouse the cross with joy, was not afforded to our Redeemer, and therefore he suffered in thick darkness of mental agony.

For days hope seems lost:
Greg Gilbert writes:
“So I wonder what Saturday was like. The Bible tells us that the disciples scattered after Jesus was arrested, and it seems that they mostly went into hiding. As far as we know, only a small number were present at the crucifixion. After all, they were right to worry that the authorities would soon come after the followers of this “false messiah” and kill them, too. So they cowered in their homes, or in friends’ homes, hoping to escape Rome’s wrath. And probably, they wept. What else would you do when everything you hoped for turns out to have been nothing but delusion, a wish that vanished into thin air?
Jesus, the “Son of God. The “Christ.” The “King of Israel.” The “Heir of David.” The “Last Adam.” The “Suffering Servant.”
All that was a delusion. Here was the stark reality:
Jesus was a carpenter.
From Nazareth.
He was their friend.
And now He was dead.”
READ
Luke 24:1–7 ESV
1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
Most religions center around philosophies. But the 4 major religions are built around personalities. Of the 4 - Christianity alone claims that its founder is alive - having been resurrected from the dead.
Judaism (oldest)
Founder was Abraham
Died around 1900 BC @ a ripe old age and was buried by his sons Isaac & Ishmael
Buddhism
Founded by Buddha himself
Buddhism states: “When Buddha died it was with that utter passing away in which nothing whatever remains behind.”
Islam
Founded on Mohammed and his teachings
Mohammed was born around 571AD and died around the year 632 at the age of 61 at Medina. There is no trace of him having existed or appeared after his death.
But for us…our KING LIVES. I’ve stood in the garden near Golgotha and peered inside an empty tomb. I’ve walked through the ornate cathedral built as a shrine over the other potential archaeological site - they both have one thing in common - AN EMPTY TOMB.
WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS (v5)
Were the whole Realm of Nature mine,
That were a Present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my Soul, my Life, my All.

3. BEHOLD THE (RISEN) KING - worthy of our worship

Robertson Nicoll writes, “The empty tomb of Christ has been the cradle of the church!”
1 cor 15.
1 Corinthians 15:3–8 ESV
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
Jesus said it over and over again. I will rise!
The Pharisees and Scribes heard it - it impacted them - they’re the ones that ordered a watch be set.
The women show up and say, “Where did you take his body…it’s been moved.”
Be encouraged by the skepticism of these men and women…
they’re worldview was altered when Jesus showed up.
They’re lives were changed as they followed him!
Their hopes were dashed as they left Gethsemane & Golgotha.
The ENTIRE WORLD was just turned upside down as the KING has shown that He reigns supreme over DEATH AND THE GRAVE!
When I look at the cross, I see it from this side of the resurrection…it’s hard for me to totally empathize with the disciples…
But imagine how the cross lit up their understanding and scope of that dark empty tomb!
Try to grasp the light that the empty tomb sheds on the dark shadow of the cross.
WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS...
I see the LAMB WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD - SACRIFICED!
I see the MAN OF SORROWS - SUFFERING ON MY BEHALF!
I see the RISEN KING OF KINGS - WORTHY OF WORSHIP AND ADORATION!
Revelation 5:6–14 ESV
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
SONG - THE REST OF THE STORY (Kyla Rowland)
Verse 1 The bystanders stood at the foot of the cross Counting His life as one total loss They thought right here is where His story would end They laughed at the sign, “King of the Jews” But they did not know it included me too Nor did they know that loves greatest story was just about to begin
Chorus Here’s the rest of the story. . . He’s coming again Just because He was crucified doesn’t mean the end I know He was buried but on the third day He proved His power still reigned Here’s the rest of the story He’s coming again
Verse 2 Now that He’s dead it’s the end of the line For one who proclaimed He was divine I guess that shows this man was not what he seemed But wait right here, how could this be He’s alive, He’s risen for the whole world to see They missed Him the first time, but that crowd won’t miss Him when he comes again as my King

INVITATION

You should read the rest of . Jesus encounters some disciples on the road to Emmaeus. They begin schooling Jesus - they don’t recognize him. He schools them about how all of Scripture is about Him. They get it - he disappears.
Christ did that for you…for the whole world.
You cannot experience resurrection power without the cross.
Then while they’re telling other disciples about it - he appears to a larger group (by the way, he was seen by 500 people after he resurrected…remarkable!).
LUKE 24.44-
Luke 24:44–48 ESV
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
Here is the gospel in this text.
Christ came and is revealed as God throughout the entire of Scripture.
Sinless, He suffered, bled, died, was buried, and rose from the grave just like He said He would (in both the written and spoken word).
All have sinned - all need a savior.
Repent
Receive Forgiveness
Be on Mission for Him as He makes you new…and a fisher of men.
His people are about making much of Him to the nations!
INVITATION
The glory and power of the resurrection is hinged to the agony and death of the cross.
Christ did that for you…for the whole world.
You cannot experience resurrection power without the cross.
SONG - Jonathan Stockstill - He Rose
All of our chains were broken on the day All of our shame was washed away the day
He rose Celebrate the day He rose There's power in the way He rose Bless His holy name He rose yeah He rose
He rose Celebrate the day He rose There's power in the way He rose Bless His holy name He rose yeah He rose
He hung on the cross forsaken The glorious King has taken all our sins Upon His head Death and the grave were broken The light of the world has spoken We are free we've been redeemed He rose
He hung on the cross forsaken The glorious King has taken all our sins Upon His head Death and the grave were broken The light of the world has spoken We are free we've been redeemed He rose
Come (or Stay in your seats) this morning - repent - believe - be saved - live for Jesus!
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